Two residents spoke in support of Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s Thurston County Commission meeting.
“This is the biggest travesty to ever happen in this county,” said rancher Eddie Armstrong, who lives on Case Road.
The cider mill’s longtime owners Carolyn and Debbie Lattin have been charged with second-degree animal cruelty and are set to appear in court on Wednesday. A judge is scheduled to hear motions about what’s admissible for next week’s trial.
Seventeen goats were removed from the Lattin farm in June after a complaint was made about the condition of the animals.
Armstrong told the County Commissioners that the Lattins have spent thousands of dollars in legal fees, and lost thousands more in business. He called the commissioners “boys,” and told them that Carolyn Lattin is 85, and could be their mother.
“This family supports 31 families, other than themselves,” Armstrong said.
He said he thinks the county has spent too much money prosecuting the case, and that he believes the charges are bogus.
Christine Hartman of Tenino told the commissioners that Lattin’s is a county treasure. She urged the commissioners to try to protect it.
“We need to be in unity with one another or else we’re going to go down,” she said. “... I love this great farm, and I don’t want it abused.”